(The first post documenting my experience with the online class Software Engineering for Software as a Service)
This was not like a trip to Wal-mart for pencils, binders, and pens. The first step was to create an Amazon Web Server account for the virtual machine. That part of the process was too easy. Basically with your existing Amazon account you can create the AWS account and be logged into a running instance within minutes. There is an additional security phone call to input a PIN to verify the account creation.
The next thing was to download a PuTTY and configure a session using the private key I created and downloaded from AWS. My preferred Telnet/SSH client is Poderosa, but I had issues getting the key file together with login, so I went with the well-documented instructions on PuTTY usage that I found on the Web.
To clarify this free course is the same as UC Berkeley course CS 169. This will only cover the first 5 chapters of the course text. There are only 60,000+ enrolled in the class. Imagine a lecture hall the size of a football stadium.